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Search results for 'nepsis'

November 6, 2012

The Therapeutic Strategy of Nepsis

For the ancient fathers, a basic prerequisite for genuine growth in the spiritual life involves a constant attitude of nepsis or watchfulness.  The word nepsis (νήψις)in antiquity literally meant to drink no wine, but by extension it also included the metaphorical sense of being sober-minded, sane, alert, and finally vigilant.  If one desires to not […]

March 19, 2013

Distractions During Prayer and the Place of the Heart

Many sincere Christians have experienced distracting thoughts or even bad thoughts during prayer and are naturally distressed when this happens. After all, their intention is to communicate with God, not to talk to themselves about things mundane or even worse!  Some have become so discouraged by such thoughts that they give up on prayer altogether.  […]

November 9, 2012

Scouting the Thoughts is the First Step toward Calming Them

Although in our last post, I noted that nepsis originally meant the state of not drinking, it’s important to realize that this state is neither negative, nor passive. Rather, it entails a particular kind of movement and action with a sense of purpose and direction. It is like the difference between “thoughtlessly” opening the refrigerator […]

July 4, 2012

The Role of the Mind and the Body in Behavioral Modification

The Fathers rightly understood that man is a composite of mind and body and that both must be addressed in order to correct the thoughts and actions.  Long before cognitive psychology appeared on the scene to correct one-side behavioralism, patristic tradition had a unified understanding of human mental functioning in terms of theoria and praxis.  […]

June 11, 2012

Dr. Bruce Foltz, Professor of Philosophy, Eckerd College

This remarkable volume – which has been characterized as a ‘Gray’s Anatomy’ of the human soul, a twenty-first century successor to William James’ ‘Varieties of Religious Experience’ and his ‘Principles of Psychology’, and a bilingual dictionary translating between psychology and spirituality, – will not only appeal to a wide range of audiences, but each one […]